By Kamlesh Tripathi
‘Where will this road take me to?’ enquired a traveller from a kid who was playing in a narrow lane. Kid replied, ‘excuse me sir. This road will not take you anywhere, because it cannot walk.’ After replying the kid started playing again.
The traveler, who was otherwise an intelligent person, got quite impressed by the logic of the kid. On probing he found that the parents of the child were very poor. They were therefore unable to provide him even with basic education. Having come to know about this, the traveler was disappointed. That a kid with such an unusual flare and talent is not getting an opportunity to study and increase his skills. He decided to help the kid. He contacted him again and asked, ‘I want to teach you the secret of knowledge. So would be interested in that. Kid replied, ‘Sir, if I have to pay you money in return. The answer is no because I don’t have money. The traveler replied, ‘you don’t need money to acquire knowledge. All you need to do, is to visit the temple every night and pray to God. Who in turn will bless you with knowledge, and after having said that, he left.
The kid did exactly that. And happy with his prayers Ma Saraswati (Goddess of learning) gave him darshan (divine audience) and granted him a vardan (blessing). But the kid instead of asking for a vardan, had a glimpse of Ma Saraswati and started laughing. Ma Saraswati was surprised at this when she asked, ‘instead of asking for a vardan what is it, that you’re doing?’ The kid in a jovial tone replied, ‘Ma as you know I have one nose and two hands. But when I catch cold and have a running nose. With both my hands I wipe my nose, and in the process I get so tired and irritated. But you have many heads and so many hands. What will happen, if you catch cold. For you will have nothing else to do, but to keep wiping your nose, and you will have no time for anything else, because you have so many noses. And thinking about that possibility I was laughing, and I’m so lucky to have only one nose.
Ma Saraswati too could not control herself and started laughing, because what the kid had said was nothing else, but logic. Then Ma Saraswati gave him vardan to be happy, and also keep others happy, and vanished.
This child later became the chief entertainer in a King’s court. Many stories and episodes of him are heard even today, and his power of logic, make others laugh.
The name of this kid was Tenaliram.